Pittella: "Mr Juncker, the real work starts today - we will be your critical social conscience!"
Following the vote for the new EU Commission led by Commission president Jean-Claude Juncker today in the EP plenary in Strasbourg, S&D Group president Gianni Pittella said:
"We congratulate Jean-Claude Juncker for the successful vote on his team and his mandate as Commission president for the next five years. The outcome of the vote with 423 votes in favour is a great result and our group has played a major role in achieving this result.
"However Mr Juncker, the work is not over yet; in fact it is only just starting today. We heard it all - you said that a triple AAA on social matters is as important as a triple AAA on economic matters. Live up to your promises and make this happen.
"Our Group has given strong input to this new Commission and we insist on close cooperation with the EP you have committed yourself to.
"With three vice-presidents in key policy areas - including sustainable development, the energy union and foreign policy, and five commissioners in key policy areas - among others in economic and monetary affairs - our Group is in a strong position to make a real impact towards a more social Europe. The fight against unemployment and for more growth and jobs is our key priority.
"The investment plan must not be a simple cosmetic operation. This is where the future for a more prosperous Europe will be decided.
"The commitment made to put forward a proposal before Christmas for the 300 billion Euro investment plan is a step in the right direction. We need clear details about how this plan will be implemented. We have concrete proposals; namely to inject money from the European Stability Mechanism (ESM) into the European Investment Bank (EIB); not to calculate in national budgets investments made by member states into truly European investments and finally to define culture as a top target of the investment plan.
"We have fought a political battle for a transfer of medicines to DG Health and this has been confirmed. In addition, we made it clear that not only neighbourhood policy but also the continuation of the enlargement process remains a clear priority.
"On international trade and the role of Investor State Dispute Settlement (ISDS), Commission president Juncker gave positive indications for the respect of EU laws. However, we need more clarity as to how this would be implemented in future treaties such as TTIP and CETA.
"Finally, we will insist on the commitments made for a more effective and joint European action on migration policy. With Federica Mogherini we will be in a position to make Europe's voice globally heard."